What if every three months your life could change drastically? Where it could be as serious as a matter of life and death, to as simple as coming home and being thankful for the good news received. As well as everything in between from putting a child on chemotherapy, to having to make extremely hard choices on which path to choose next, to sitting and waiting. It sounds difficult, doesn’t it? I am here to tell you that as difficult as it is to have to face that every three months, having Jimmy, my son, everyday in my life, smiling and being his beautiful self makes every second worth it. So brain tumor or no brain tumor we still get Jimmy and that’s what matters at the end of the day.
Jimmy will receive his 26th MRI tomorrow March 7th, 2016. He will be 6 years old in May. He has received MRI’s since he was 4 months old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It’s funny, I get quiet in my mind leading up to an MRI. Writing becomes a little more difficult probably cause I hold my breath metaphorically. The longer I’m on this journey the more I’m learning how to breathe through it. I started a blog called youwereborntodothis.com, because we all need reminders that our journeys, challenges and difficulties, as hard as they are, can bring about a great amount of positive change and give the world hope. That is what my blog is for, a place to find hope. Sometimes I need to remind myself that I was born to do this, born to be Jimmy’s mom, especially when the road gets windy and difficult. I was born to be in his corner, to fight for him, to create a world for him where he feels unconditionally loved by not only me, but everyone he meets. Think about it, when you feel loved, anything is possible. The impossible is possible. I think that love truly heals him in so many ways, because he feels it everyday. It has made him strong and capable of anything.
When I mention Jimmy’s story to strangers they say, “I don’t know how you deal with all that,” or “I don’t know how you do it?” It’s not a burden for me though, it’s a privilege. Jimmy’s circumstance has brought so much peace, love and joy to our world that everyone that has heard of his story is immediately brought a feeling that we all need and look for…HOPE.
There is never a day that I would choose a different path. I would choose Jimmy every time, because he has made me into the person I am today. Everyday I look to be better because of him. We all need hope, we need each other to find it sometimes. We’re all climbing mountains at various levels, some much steeper and more dangerous than others. No matter how steep though, we need oxygen to think clear, to carry on and keep putting one foot in front of the other. That oxygen can come in the form of other people’s stories that have persevered and not only survived, but are now thriving. You never know who your story could inspire.
I can’t tell you how many times people have mentioned taking their kids into Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for different reasons and different ailments. They tell me that they thought of Jimmy, his journey and all he has been through. They think of his strength and they push through, because they know that things can and will get better. Jimmy helps them get through their difficult situations. He reminds them to breathe even when it’s difficult. For me, when I write, if it helps just one person, that allows me to know that this journey is helping the bigger whole and that means something. That gives me oxygen to keep going, with a smile on my face and a determination to keep sharing our story in hopes of helping someone get through their difficult time.
I don’t know if you’ve heard that song by Andra Day, “Rise Up”, but that song gave me something leading up to this MRI. It’s a feeling that not all songs give, it gave me hope. So thank you Andra Day for sharing you’re song. You gave me strength when I needed it.
We’ll rise up every time, every MRI, every test, every time there is a mountain to climb I will climb it with my son, because I was born to be his mom. More importantly Jimmy was born to make this world a better place by doing nothing more than being himself. I have the incredible privilege of sharing our story, Jimmy’s miracle story with all of you. For that I am grateful.
With each MRI he gets braver, more aware and more inquisitive. He focuses on the good, when he gets the mask (for anesthesia) he calls it the scuba mask, he says, “After I get the scuba mask and wake up mom can I get a slushy and go see the girls (nurses)? There is not an ounce of fright on his face, instead there is a big smile full of wonder looking back at me instead. He humbles me in those moments, the way only a child can.
The day before MRI’s Jimmy looks in my eyes for reassurance that everything will be okay? I think he finds it, cause when I look at him all I see if this perfectly healthy, little boy, full of love and life. The way I know he finds it is because he looks in my eyes and breathes out a huge breath of relief.
I think we all need that, someone’s assurance or encouraging words when something difficult arises. I believe that God looks out for him, that he’s always with us, cheering Jimmy on, whispering in his ear to dance through life. Jimmy listens and he dances…oh does he dance right up that mountain showing everyone how to breathe all the way to the top.